Decision on Stonehaven council houses postponed for site visit

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COUNCILLORS have put off taking a decision on a planning application for more council housing in Stonehaven until they visit the site.

Members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee decided to hold off making the decision on the application by Aberdeenshire Council’s housing and social work department for two houses and four flats at this week’s meeting.

The proposed development would be on land to the east of 47 Arduthie Gardens, opposite to the ‘care village’ which was given planning permission at last month’s area committee meeting.

Stonehaven councillor Wendy Agnew moved for a site visit and said: “It is a very small site and it is overdeveloped. I have a lot of concerns.”

Fellow councillor Mike Sullivan slammed the design of the proposal and said: “Really that’s the sort of house you would get drawn by a three year old in one of the Stonehaven primarys chools if the teacher said draw a house. It is awful.

“This is the year 2010 and this is what we are getting? Under no circumstances could I vote for this even if it was build from solid gold.”

The application was defended by councillor Peter Bellarby who said: “ I do not know what councillor Sullivan expects here. It isn’t really dreadful, it has a lot of commendable features.

“Frankly you cannot expect a gem of architecture in a situation like this. In the circumstances I think that is the best we can expect.”

Councillor Graeme Clark said that he was “perturbed” that the application would see the loss of another bit of green space in the area so soon after the care home had been given the go-ahead.

14 letters of representation were lodged, one of which contained a petition with 19 names on it, which focused the issue of parking spaces, flood risk, the loss of green space and the overdevelopment of the site.

Stonehaven and District Community Council has also lodged an objection to the application on the basis of flood concerns and traffic congestion, among others.

A report before councillors stated that the proposal will not significantly increase the risk of flooding and that the new carparking and access arrangements are acceptable to council policy. It also states that the loss of green space is not considered to be a “significant” issue.

Six councillors voted for a site visit, while five voted to grant planning permission.